In order to protect Windows Vista from malware and inadvertent disastrous mistakes, Microsoft endowed the operating system with the User Account Control (UAC) system. This system requires all users to use the standard user mode, and then prompts for administrative credentials before performing an operation.
If you like the idea of the UAC system, but you’re not ready to upgrade to Windows Vista, you can use UAC’s predecessor in Windows XP: the RunAs command. Here’s how to use Windows XP’s version of UAC:
1. Log in as the Administrator.
2. Launch User Accounts, locate your user account, and change your account type from Computer Administrator to a Limited account.
3. Log out of the Administrator account and log back in with your new Limited account.
4. Whenever you encounter a situation in which you need administrative credentials, press [Shift] as you right-click the application’s executable file or its icon and select the RunAs command.
5. When you see the RunAs dialog box, choose The Following User option button to select the Administrator account, and then type in the password.
6. Click OK.
Now you can perform any operation that requires administrative credentials.
Note: This tip is for both Windows XP Home and Professional.